Seminal HIV-1 RNA Detection in Heterosexual African Men Initiating Antiretroviral Therapy

Andrew Mujugira, Robert W. Coombs, Renee Heffron, Connie Celum, Allan Ronald, Nelly Mugo, Jared M. Baeten, Deborah Donnell, Lisa Frenkel, Craig W. Hendrix, Jairam R. Lingappa, M. Juliana McElrath, Kenneth H. Fife, Edwin Were, Elioda Tumwesigye, Patrick Ndase, Elly Katabira, Elizabeth Bukusi, Craig R. Cohen, Jonathan WangisiJames D. Campbell, Jordan W. Tappero, James Kiarie, Carey Farquhar, Grace John-Stewart, Nelly R. Mugo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Background. Intermittent shedding of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) in semen occurs despite effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) and suppressed blood HIV-1 RNA levels. Methods. We assessed the frequency, magnitude, and correlates of seminal HIV-1 RNA shedding in HIV-1-infected African men initiating ART. Results. Seminal HIV-1 RNA was detected in 24% (37 of 155), 10% (5 of 49), and 11% (8 of 70) of samples collected 0-3, 4-6, and >6 months after ART initiation. When blood HIV-1 levels were suppressed, seminal HIV-1 RNA was detected in 8% (16 of 195), and 82% (13 of 16) had an HIV-1 RNA load of < 1000 copies/mL. Conclusions. Seminal HIV-1 RNA shedding was infrequent and present at low levels in HIV-1-infected African men with suppressed blood HIV-1 RNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-215
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2016



  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • HIV-1
  • RNA
  • Semen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Mujugira, A., Coombs, R. W., Heffron, R., Celum, C., Ronald, A., Mugo, N., Baeten, J. M., Donnell, D., Frenkel, L., Hendrix, C. W., Lingappa, J. R., McElrath, M. J., Fife, K. H., Were, E., Tumwesigye, E., Ndase, P., Katabira, E., Bukusi, E., Cohen, C. R., ... Mugo, N. R. (2016). Seminal HIV-1 RNA Detection in Heterosexual African Men Initiating Antiretroviral Therapy. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 214(2), 212-215.